There Will Be An Answer

I came to consciousness slowly this morning, with the loop of “There will be an answer…” running in my head.  Was this a message for me, I wondered, or just another episode of earworm attack that other OCD sufferers are familiar with?

I’ve spent the past year hoping, and searching for an answer to one of the most troubling dilemmas I’ve ever faced.  How can I make coherence out of what I can do, what is possible for me to do, and what I want to do, when I don’t have answers for any of those questions?  It’s no wonder that I’ve tripped and stumbled into the situation that I’m in now, and feel so inadequate to look after my mother as well.  Truth be told, I know I’m not suited to be responsible for another adult, even if it is my own mother, and her cognitive decline demands help. It’s not like raising a child with the understanding that the child will eventually learn things, with or without your help.  The opposite is happening, and there’s not a day that goes by in which I don’t discover my mother has “unlearned” something else. Each day, each moment, it’s driven home to me just how much I don’t like doing another adult’s thinking for them.

“But she’s your mother, and you should…” I hear these thoughts echo in my head. They aren’t my thoughts, but the words of others, outsiders, the mass populace who feels they must decree without walking in another’s shoes. They can’t truly know. They aren’t me, and they don’t know my mother.  So I keep it inside, and hope for an answer that will satisfy us both. I used to fear spending the rest of my life alone. Now I fear spending an important stage of my life chained to my mother. I don’t know who I am any more.  I just know what I don’t want to be.

“There will be an answer…” Please, let it come soon.

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Life of Lives

In 1992, I was exploring the metaphysical concepts of life. I was painting heavily, and reading a lot.  My mother had a plethora of “New Age” books, branching into all avenues, so I had to be a bit more selective than she, when choosing what could actually be worth my time to read.  I was more open to ideas then, my mind hungrily searching for answers to unlimited questions.  In looking back, it was a “magical” time for me, and it was also the first time that my mom and I had ever become close.

My mother was a frequent patron of The Dancing Moon, a New Age bookstore in Boone, NC. She received it’s newsletters, and grew her acquaintance with people of like mind.  It was  a scheduled event she read about in the newsletter that lead us to our ultimate bonding experience. There was an artist coming, whose work consisted of creating past life portraits.  She paid for both of us to have a sitting that day.  My excitement outweighed any possible skepticism I may have had at the time.  And truly, if ever there was one point in time that I believed in “more”, it was that day. My psyche was literally buzzing the entire time I was waiting my turn. I felt dizzy with it. I’ve never felt that way since.

She sat first, and I was allowed to be present during her session. It was amazing to watch the faces “come through”, and the details that began to emerge.  As the artist began to reveal the tidbits of information that she was receiving, both my mother and I gained insight into who she was at present, and insight into our relationship with eachother. (On  a side note -both my mother and I received 10 “lives” in our paintings. This was very unusual. The most lives to show up in these type of paintings by this artist was 5.  We saw her album of past works, and recognized that something “special” was going on with the 3 of us that day.) When it came time for my own sitting, I had no idea how much it would affect me.  While my mom had been happy and eager…I cried. Tears rolled down my cheeks from the time the artist started, until she finished.  The only way I can describe it is to say that it felt like my soul was being validated, and it was tears of relief and release.  Everything she revealed on the velvet paper and with her words was a verification of me, and my life today.  There was a pattern to the placement of lives on the paper, each one representing a significant stage in our current lives, and why things were “so”.

The very first face/life in the circle represented the beginning of my life, and the experience of that past life reflected how I came into this world.  This face explained so much.  It was a woman, with long hair, grey streaks at the sides…and she was oh-so-angry.  The date that appeared with her was in the 13th century, and she had been judged and executed as a witch.  And…in relation…my mother had a life during that same period, and it was revealed that, as a man, she had been one to sit in judgement of me.  The truth is…I was angry as a small child, I remember that so well. I was also very angry with my mother.  It made perfect karmic sense.

The fascination I’ve had with particular countries, time periods, and other things was also revealed through the consecutive pattern. The lives emerged gradually, and not in the order that they appeared on the paper. The last face, which is centrally located at the top of the paper represents Who I am to become. This particular face was different from the rest. When I saw her features emerging, I was prepared to be told that I spent a life as a prostitute or a courtesan.  You can imagine my surprise when I was told that her name was Astara, and she had lived in Atlantis.  Her life represented the epitome of all that I am to be.  To become.  Because she “had all the gifts”.  Mind you, I had been quite pleased to learn that the old Italian man with the huge hooked nose was known as the Wizard of Naples, and that he knew everybody’s business and wasn’t fooled by anyone.  I had also been pleased that there were two other Italian males, one a boy, who had a gift of voice…because I’ve always loved to sing. There was a Korean girl, and a runaway slave.  A homely looking Norseman who sailed, named Olum.  There was even a representation of lives where I was wishing for gifts/talents, depicted as a person with long dark hair, that could’ve been male or female. But Astara exceeded anything I would have wanted to imagine for myself.  Indeed, I still wonder how I could possibly morph into such a person.  At present, I can relate to the Wizard of Naples and his “knowing” people. Of being able to see through them, or sense things about them. And I’m terribly fond of wise old men.  And Italy. 🙂 I also feel a strong kinship with lovers of the Earth, the homeopathists and “wiccans” of present day…the modern counterparts of that angry woman who was put to death.  And I still experience the anger and outrage at those who cruelly judge others.  But…Astara from Atlantis…I’ve always been fascinated with Atlantis, from the moment I first heard of it at a very young age.  My interest in technology corroborates with the advancements depicted for that time.  I’ve always had a liking for astrology, astronomy, numerology, music, and art…which are all the gifts Astara was supposed to have had. But she also had the gift of sight.  I realize that there are significant things attributed to an Astara, and there have been modern organizations, etc., created in that name, but I have a feeling that Astara was probably as common a name as Lisa is today, so I don’t have any thoughts that I was that particular Astara everyone is “honoring”.  But the word “star”, and those celestial bodies are like music to my ears and soul. I know of no other way to explain it.

I’ve run the gamut of belief systems. I’ve drenched and saturated myself with them, and then shed them. The only thing I believe at present is that there is a connection between all things that can’t be quite defined or ultimately understood.  I think the key is in consciousness, but I dare not do as others do, and pretend to know and define it’s existence. I believe that all things are tapped into that consciousness, some call it God, but again, I will not label that which I don’t have full and complete knowledge of.  I believe in it’s existence because I’ve felt it all my life, but, even more so, on the day that my past life reading was done. I can never forget what I went through that day, nor how I was affected physically and emotionally.  At one time, I sincerely believed that all that I had been suffering through was necessary to becoming “Astara”.  Right now…I do not know.  That was over 20 years ago, and the lessons have not ceased. I’ve mentioned my weariness because of them, because of people’s actions, and the uncertainty life holds every day.  I’ve experienced depression on and off my whole life.  At one time, I was too sympathetic and too empathetic, but I’ve had to temper that for my own good.  In my last post, I said I had felt a shift in myself.  Following that post, I’ve found that I’ve come full circle. My fascination with  the “supernatural” has resurrected itself.  I never would’ve thunk it.

(About the “supernatural”…I think that’s a misnomer, because I don’t think supernatural is completely understood, which is why it’s considered  beyond “natural”.  When I think of supernatural, it is the tapping into mass consciousness that I think of.  And I believe that we’re naturally supposed to do that.  Manipulating reality, as is depicted in the Bible, falls into the realm of Fantasy for me. However, I do realize that it is those depictions that are rooted in the accepted definition of supernatural. )

The Spring Forward

It’s 10 minutes until 2a.m. and I know I’m at least a little different than I was a week ago.  All things seem to fall under the rule of  “it’s just a matter of time”.  I could lose myself easily in the pondering of the relationship between time, cause, and effect.  But what I really wanted to get to is the fact that, in some subtle fashion, a shift occurred  within myself. Just as “time” springs forward tonight,  so have I.
I really can’t pinpoint when the change occurred, but that’s how time works…like a delicate, gossamer weave.  And now I must redefine who I am, once again.  That isn’t anything new for me – I’ve been doing it all my life.  It’s curious to me, that I’ve let an idea or two go, and it doesn’t bother me at all.  No sadness, no regret; very little emotion at all for something that I’ve desired for a very long time.  I came across a sentence while browsing eBooks.  It was exploring an idea, really, about “getting what you want and it not being enough“.  The thought came to me that, if it isn’t enough, then perhaps it was really what you wanted at all. And that is the crux of my ambivalent feelings.  I realized that what I got wasn’t exactly what I wanted – it was just a guise – and that simple thought set me free.
I can’t say that I’m “happy” with what I’m left with, because various elements in my life are still up in the air, yet to be settled. I’ve sprung forward, however,  my mind is still in the landing stage.  I’m not concerned that I’ll lose my balance, I’m merely wary of my new surroundings. Will they be beneficial, or will they be provide more hindrance? I’ll have to tweak and adjust, accordingly.
Oh look…In the 15 minutes or so that I’ve spent writing this, I’ve lost an hour.  I think I timed that rather well. 😉

Beam Me Up, Scotty

Try as we might, we can never completely control what happens to us. We can only control  how we choose to respond or react. There is no right or wrong in our choices, just positive or negative effects.  And sometimes, that’s a matter of perspective.

For the longest time, I’ve felt like my only choices have been to choose between the lesser of “evils”. That is to say, my options fall far, far short of the good that I constantly seek.  The direct route to attaining some of my goals has always been simple and clear in my mind. However, with every step I try to take, I encounter roadblock after roadblock. Add to that fact, there are people in my life who simply will not let me be me, who add additional conditions to my everyday existence, thwarting my attempts to find peace of mind.

My mind is constantly working, seeking, viewing from every angle I can possibly imagine, trying on perspectives. I’ve run the gamut of belief systems, I’ve had “faith” and lost “faith”. The only thing I believe at this point is that all of life, known and unknown, is in constant motion. I carry no crutches, I know very little comfort, and my “now” is never satisfactory. I’m tired, really, really tired, but I’m not allowed to rest. I constantly search for the answer to “Why must this be *so* for me?” I’ve yet to find an answer that brings me comfort or peace.

I detest moving, all I’ve ever wanted was a home of my own…a permanent place…a sanctuary. Yet, I will be moving again soon, and it isn’t bringing me one step closer to my wish. I’m also being forced into another job, much sooner than I wanted, and again, one that I’m not 100% at ease about. There’s a slight hope it will add to my skill set and experience, possibly opening another door later on, but it requires absolute flexibility and that hinders my plans for myself, once again. I don’t recognize my life at all. It seems to be one of constant sacrifice on my part. I don’t understand why.

I’ve always loved Science Fiction. It’s one of the things I share with my dad, and my youngest son. It was a huge escape for me in my youth and early adulthood.  The appeal of other worlds, other beings, vast technology and advanced minds is so much better than the reality of this one. I’m just disappointed that we can’t beam ourselves up at will.

Just A Thought Buffet

One of the drawbacks of blogging in this sphere is the limited interaction. While you can get some feedback or open up dialogue on a popular social media site, it’s participants are still guarded in the conversation, to some extent. What I find the most lacking in my writing attempts in these venues is the group conversation, and the thoughts springing off one another. I also find that I can’t be as completely open  as I’d like to be. I vent in a secret group because I don’t want to expose my problems to the larger mass of friends.  I hint at things on my Facebook wall when I need to reach out to people. When I absolutely need to attack a thought or feeling,  I lead a trail here, describe the scenery, yet I still keep the wagons circled.  It’s all woefully inadequate sometimes. It is why I miss the format of the other place.

(I may skip around a bit, or not write in a coherent order, so please bear with me.)

I find myself perched in front of the keyboard today because I have so many things I need to purge, yet I can’t release them properly. By that, I mean, I can’t go into details without the risk of offending others who may inadvertently find their way here, or, whatever I need to say will miss the intended target(s). Only recently, I came to realize that I’m using my public face to get away from myself and from the things I can’t control. The truth is, I don’t have a particular confidante anymore, and it’s been a long time since I’ve had one. Barring a few immediate family members, and one former co-worker, the extent of my social life AND personal life is conducted online. The attempts I’ve made to change that have basically…failed.

It isn’t easy to find trustworthy people. It’s hard to find someone who absolutely has your back at all times. And while I’m 100% capable of amusing myself and keeping myself occupied at all times, I don’t always want to be alone. I do get tired of my own company, and I’m grateful that my father and my son are around to mitigate some of that. But what I really, really, REALLY miss is having someone there to say..“Everything’s going to be alright”…and mean it. And by them saying it, meaning it, I then Know it to be true. I haven’t had that in a long, long time. It’s not like just anyone can say that, though. It has to be someone that I believe in, that I know has my back, that I can trust, that I know is sincere and truly knows me. That person is someone who cares enough about reassuring me. That person can see the way clear when I cannot.

Stress can make you sick if it isn’t released. We all know that. I can relieve it in a number of different ways. But if it’s too bad, it can paralyze you. That’s what has happened to me over the last few days. My nerves are taut, and I’m barely productive. My attention span is short. I’m only able to read one or two paragraphs at a time. All of my favorite pursuits are unsatisfying. Tears come and go at the slightest things. I’m dreading doing necessary things that I normally take in stride. It makes you wish “If only one super good thing would happen…” then it all would go away. Just one, is all I’m asking for.

I’ve chosen not to post any of my works of fiction, for the time being. I have a lofty idea of writing a book of short stories, to wet my whistle. (I can’t actually whistle, btw). I will toss out the title of one of the stories though…The Cash Cow. I giggle every time I think of it.

That is all.

Let’s Talk About Love

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I have a love/hate relationship with Love.

I love the idea of love. I love the beginning of love…the excitement and the tingles. The thrills of hope. The temptations and desires barely concealed beneath the surface. The shiny, sparkly undefined promise, hovering in the air like a carrot.

I hate the harsh reality. The subtle letdowns. The acceptance that love is never going to be perfect. The dawning realization that there is a lot more *less* than there is *more*. And a new one of late… I hate being wrong about a love interest.

I had , what I thought was, a perfect love once. Or as close to perfect as one can get, I think.  My second husband.  I had spent several years honing and defining what I was looking for, hoping for, and what I absolutely didn’t want, after my failed and very brief first marriage…and the subsequent rounds of unsatisfactory dating that followed. It was almost supernatural…the fact that I did, somehow, manifest this person into my life. Even now, I feel that he’s most likely the only person who could possibly know me as well as any one person possibly can.

So, what went wrong? Or, what wasn’t right? One crucial element is…I kept growing, and he did not. At least, not in the same direction. It’s like…he reached a point and said “I’m good with this for a while”…and I knew it wasn’t far enough.

But the other thing is…there was a wall, probably formed by us both, which prevented me from sharing my deepest secrets, desires, and thoughts. The real me. I tried, with some things, the crucial things that were affecting our day to day lives…I even wrote them down when I couldn’t speak them, because I’d come to realize how vitally important communication and honesty is in a relationship. But…he didn’t reciprocate. And so, after almost 10 years, it ended.

What do you do after coming so close…and failing? How do you view “love” after that?  How do you find the right perspective about love?

There are so many types of love, and I’ve experienced them all. A truly lasting romantic love is the most elusive one for me. I haven’t stopped trying, hoping for, and seeking it. I’ve added to the mental list of “qualifications” I created all those years ago. Sadly, with every new prospect and failure, I’ve had to add even more. Things I never would have known to consider.  It’s almost ridiculous… that there’s such a variety of issues affecting every individual. So much so, that I’m not even sure there are any well balanced, available men out there for me to encounter.

The hardest part…is knowing how amazing love can be when two people are unafraid to give in to it…and not having the opportunity to do so.

I think I hate that most of all.

 

A Simple Plan, or Strange Fiction

One thing I’ve figured out in my 46 years is that ANY plan I make MUST leave lots of room for flexibility or alteration. Whether I like it or not, that’s just how my life rolls. It’s all wrapped up with who I am. Even though I may wail or lament every time something goes “wrong”, it’s my inherent ability to adapt -or be creative – and overcome, that’s at the core of who I am.

I suppose my 46th birthday yesterday was the official signal to the beginning of my newest phase. Since becoming unemployed again, and this time NOT having to worry about being completely broke, I’ve been able to do something I haven’t ever really been able to do before…and that’s not worry incessantly about the next “job”. I have some time now, to think clearly, and to let things unfold as they may, without stress or pressure to cloud every issue. That makes a huge difference.

I have a well of excitement within.  For those of us who feel compelled to write, having the time to do it is precious. Writing, in itself, isn’t enough, though.  There must be inspiration…which means looking, listening, and feeling.  When a dear friend recently published a book of memoirs on Amazon, I was ecstatic and giddy. A large part of it was for her…but, also, by doing so, she opened up a door for me to peer through that I had only recently considered myself. I’m not sure if “considered” is exactly the right word…the idea of publishing an e-book had barely entered my head! 🙂

But, there it is. It helped slide the cover off the well. I have no grand scheme of being a significant author leaving a mark on the world -at- large. It’s just a simple plan to keep reading, write when inspired, and develop the Fiction niche that suits me best.  My mind has a twist for the absurd, a bend toward Satirical Whimsy…and a penchant for non conformity. Strange Fiction…yes, I resemble that remark.

Plate Full Of Dread

PART I

 

He couldn’t have known. No one could have. Not really. Not if you’re just an average guy, who’s lived an average life, with average experiences. Life was supposed to be normal.  And it had been.  Sure, it hadn’t been perfect…nothing ever is.  He just didn’t understand how it all could go so horribly wrong, so fast.  He had never imagined that hungry eyes and a wounded smile could mean the death of him.

 

He was in shock, of course. There was a strange numbness in his body…if he still had one. He wasn’t sure. Time seemed to be suspended, and he didn’t know if he was awake or dreaming. He hoped for the latter. There were sounds he couldn’t identify. And a familiar smell. What was it?

 

Fear. It was creeping back in. If he could only remember. There was something important that he was supposed to remember. It was as if his mind was circling itself, unwilling to settle…to clarify.

 

Tingling. His face was tingling. The fog in his mental pathways was lifting. The smell was stronger, penetrating his nostrils, and in one swift stroke, delivered a rush of pounding dread deep in his chest.

 

Gasoline.

 

With that thought, awareness surged back in. His body jerked, sending bolts of pain through his limbs. His eyes flew open, and immediately started watering. He still couldn’t see. With great effort he brought a hand to his face. It was slick. Blood. It had to be blood. His head felt heavy, like a cinder block. The pain was a rising crescendo. He realized he was lying on his side, with his other arm pinned beneath him. He tried to raise up, only to hit something hard.

 

The car. Oh God.  He was in the car.  And he was trapped.

 

Disjointed images flooded his head.  Spaghetti on a Christmas card… A brown and beige chemise… A flickering porch light… A crossword puzzle… No, that’s not right… Wheel Of Fortune… Wheel Of Fortune on the television.  Vanna White was turning letters.  The chemise was on a plate.  That thought bothered him.  The Christmas card.  Spaghetti.  He had been eating spaghetti while Wheel Of Fortune was airing on the television. The card.  It was larger than normal, with a winter scene on it’s front.  It was in the plate of spaghetti.

 

Valerie.

 

HIs heart lurched, and his head started pounding.  Valerie had thrown it on his plate of spaghetti that he’d been eating, while he’d had half an eye on Wheel Of Fortune. She had smiled.  The card was from Sara, his ex girlfriend…

 

Oh God! Sara!!  The chemise.  Not brown…Not brown!!

 

He let out an anguished moan.  They were just friends now! It wasn’t like that!!  He’d tried to tell her it wasn’t like that!  But it was too late.  It was Sara’s chemise, a present from her mother.  WHAT DID YOU DO TO SARA?!!

 

She’d had a gun… tucked into her waistband, when she picked up his half-eaten plate of spaghetti, crashing it against his head.

 

YOUUU’RE. MYYY. SOULMATE!!!

 

He had jumped up, grabbed his chair, and swung it at her, knocking her backward.  He had run out the kitchen door then, tripping down the steps, and falling on the ground. He’d looked back as he was getting up, and saw her staggering toward the door frame, the flickering porch light distorting her features.

 

Scrambling to his feet, he’d lunged toward the driveway.  Her father’s old Chevy Nova blocking his truck.  He had jumped in it… keys in the floorboard.  She was pounding on the window with the butt of the pistol as he screeched backward.

 

She started shooting as he pulled away.

 

The road had been too curvy.  A blur as he had flipped down the embankment.  She would be coming now.

 

Seat belt.  His fingers fumbled to release the seat belt he’d managed to buckle as he was driving down the road…funny how the mind works on autopilot, at times.  The roof of the car was the floor now.  Between Valerie and the gas leak, he had to get out.

 

 

PART II

 

He’d HIT her. That BASTARD had hit her with a chair, and now he was LEAVING! She’d told him …Nobody leaves her… EVER.

 

She clamored upright, staggering to the door.  He was running toward her car!  Rage engulfed her and she charged forward, emitting a guttural scream…NOOOO!!!  She grabbed at the door handle as he was backing out, beating the glass with her gun.  The car jerked around and she lost her grip, then it peeled away.  She raised her gun and started squeezing the trigger.  Stupid Fool… Nobody takes what’s hersShe’d shown that girl, and she’d show him too!  She’d warned him, and he hadn’t listened.

 

With an odd calm, she turned and walked back to the house.  She couldn’t drive his truck, she’d never gotten a set of keys for it. Dumb mistake. She’d remember that next time.  She had her daddy’s tractor though.  She would find him.  After she reloaded her gun.

 

 

PART III

 

He didn’t have much room, but he managed to wriggle toward the passenger side window.  He needed to give his legs some room.  God, they hurt so badly.  It took all the effort he had to force them to move. He had no choice.  Inch by inch, he worked his feet up to the driver side window, until he felt the hard heel of his boot hit glass.

 

 

PART IV

 

She was focused now.  She had a mission.  Her thoughts and emotions locked back up in their cells, where they should be.  She was softly singing to herself, riding along on the tractor… Hush little baby, don’t say a word… Her father had always sung it to her.  She didn’t realize she was smiling.

 

The lights caught an anomaly in the scenery.  The guardrail was broken. She eased the tractor as closely to the edge as possible, and shut it off.  Climbing down, she peered over the side of the embankment.  There was just enough moon to catch a gleam of metal.  Triumph flooded her body.

 

 

PART V

 

He heard the sound of the tractor and started crawling faster.

 

 

PART VI

 

It wasn’t easy getting down the side of the embankment.  She slid part of the way, cutting her hands on the underbrush as she tried to slow her descent.  The Nova was on it’s top.  Mangled.  Her daddy’s car!  Ruined. This made her angry.

 

She pulled her gun out of her waistband again, and with a purposeful stride, walked up to the car.  If he wasn’t dead, she wasn’t going to give him the chance to leave her again.  This way, he would always be hers. They were soulmates.  She had told him that.

 

She bent down, and tried to peer through the window.  It was too dark. She couldn’t see a thing.  Shifting the gun to her other hand, she flipped out her daddy’s Zippo and flicked the wheel.

 

 

PART VII

 

The night exploded, slamming him into the creek bed.

 

 

And The Levee Broke

I knew it would. You can’t internalize the anger, frustration, and pain for that long without releasing it. I had spit out the anger, frustration and resentment. All that was left was the pain…and that could only be released with tears.

The pain was from being ignored by everyone who was pleaded with to make a difference. They invalidated my feelings. They invalidated my worth as an employee and a human being. They demanded I continue to work in a toxic environment without feeling…without breaking. That is humanly impossible. No one can withstand it for that long.

 

I still don’t understand “why”…Why would you be so insensitive to cries for help? Why would you continually turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to reasonable requests? I realize that there are many people in authoritative positions who don’t have the proper managerial training…and that’s what I faced. And because I have had training, I knew that my requests and expectations were reasonable and capable of being met.

 

I know it will get better. I know that time and distance and new experiences will serve to make it so. I just have to let the tears come as they will.

Yes, Beggars, You CAN Be Choosers

It wasn’t my shining moment, but it was MY moment, nonetheless.  Releasing almost two years of built up anger, frustration, and resentment was necessary… to set me free.  I know it wasn’t pretty, but it was necessary, to achieve my objective. It had to happen this way.

What did I do? I got myself fired from the company that had dissolved every ounce of respect I could possibly give to it. Mind you, it did not deserve much respect at all.  By doing so, I also rid myself of the toxic human element that I had to work beside nine-plus hours a day…the element I came to loathe with every subsequent breath. Familiarity does breed contempt…when you see the colors shown by someone are mostly shaded with black. I had repeatedly asked to be moved away from this toxic element (I will no longer speak her name as it’s akin to summoning the demon)…this thief who stole from me, who admittedly indulges in most of the lowest forms of human behavior, and who frequently sent her spite towards me. I was ignored and denied my requests. I realized, some time ago, that the only way I would be rid of her was to either quit, or be fired. I wasn’t going to quit unless I had another job lined up, which was incredibly hard to do when I worked so many hours. I, therefore, had to reconcile myself to swallowing my pride for the possibility of being terminated.

When I awoke yesterday, I knew it was THE day. I was still having enough back pain to put me in an ill mood, and the medication I was taking for it only amplified all of my feelings.  I didn’t want to see her, speak to her, or have her near me…but there was no avoiding it due to the nature of our jobs. All it took was one snide comment, and I verbally released it all upon her.  I’m not sorry about it at all. She probably deserved more, but my points were made, and I got the outcome I needed.

When I was hired for that job, I was operating under the *standard* that “beggars can’t be choosers”.

I now know that is totally wrong. No matter your situation in life, you should never give up what you value and take the piddling scraps that come your way.  You’re only prostituting yourself by doing so, and the price you pay is too expensive. You’re allowing wounds to your soul. The scars will always be there.

I took back what I had given up in order to work there, and deal with the toxicity on a daily basis. I took back my self respect, and my right to choose where I work, and the types of people I will work with or around. It will take a bit of time to shed the last remnants of negativity clinging to me, that came with working there everyday. But I’m free. I’m free to choose carefully now, and not let others choose for me. I’m free to bring positivity back into my working life. I have the time now to really look around, and research the areas I’m interested in.

Most of all…I’m free to be me, LESLIE…and I deserved far better than what I had settled for.